The Gallery of Fine Arts has some of Venice’s Finest Artistic Treasures:
One of Venice’s foremost institutions of art, L’Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia was founded in 1750 by the Venetian Senate. It contains some of the city’s finest artistic treasures and out of it evolved the gallery established by Napoleon in 1807 during the period he held Italy.
The rooms reflect the rich diversity that is Venice herself – one of Europe’s main trading centres for centuries.
The Accademia’s collection of paintings span five centuries of art. There are the Byzantium works, imported from the Middle East some by conquest, others by purchase. Polyptychs by Veneziano from the 14th century are one example. The 15th century Gothic art of Fiore and Vivarini represent two more.
In Room 1, can be seen the influence that Byzantine art had on early Venetian painters. Another room of the Accademia Gallery amply shows the rich color that can be seen in the homes and other objects of Venice. Works by Giovanni Bellini (son of Jacopo Bellini, the founder of the Renaissance style of painting) in the mid-16th century show how far the art developed even over such a short time. His Madonna and Child or Madonna and Dead Son may have similar subject matter to others. But the rich coloring of Venice reached new heights here.
That same theme is carried on in works by Giorgione, such as his Tempest. The subtle hues of the nursing mother contrast with the bold soldier and the oncoming storm they watch.
Carpaccio’s Miracle of the True Cross at Rialto displays superb early Renaissance style. It also provides a view of the famed bridge which was then the only crossing for the Grand Canal.
Other Venetian masters of the period are well represented, too.
Tintoretto‘s four scenes from the Life of San Marco show why he is revered in Venice to this day. His The Creation of the Animals is also essential viewing. The Feast in the House of Levi shows Veronese at the peak of his art. Gentile Bellini’s Procession of the Relic of the Cross provides an excellent insight, through the eyes of the artist, into life in Venice at the end of the 15th century.
But, by far, some of the finest works in the Venice Accademia are those of Giorgone’s student, Titian. His Pieta for the tomb in Chiesa dei Frari, the Presentation of the Virgin and others all show the hand of the master at work. His self-portrait as an old man rivals the best of Rembrandt.
Later artists provided works that are among the best in the Accademia Gallery.
Tiepolo’s 18th century frescos are known to museum-goers around the world. Sections from one from the Chiesa degli Scalzi hangs here. Several Canaletto‘s are in the museum as well. This master of the outdoor Venetian scene was so accurate that his paintings are taken as the equal of photographs.
A visit to this fine art gallery is an opportunity to enjoy one of the largest collections of Venetian masters anywhere and will reward visitors many times over.
Campo della Carità,
By Boat: Take the ACTV Line 1 or Line 2: Stop Accademia
On foot: It takes 30 – 40 minutes from P.le Roma (Parking) or from Santa Lucia train station